- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 27, 2002

DURHAM, N.C. All-American Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson started it off with a bang, and Duke left Wallace Wade Stadium with a whimper yesterday.
The Terrapins continued their roll with a dominant defensive effort, another scoring punt return by Steve Suter and an offense showing marked improvement each week in obliterating the Blue Devils 45-12. Maryland's fifth consecutive victory left it in position to become bowl eligible next week.
The only downside was several injuries most notably tailback Bruce Perry getting hurt on the Terps' first play. Perry, the ACC's Offensive Player of the Year last season who was playing in his first game since tearing a groin in preseason practice, suffered a sprain below his left shoulder after gaining 19 yards on a shifty run. He will undergo an MRI tomorrow and is questionable for Saturday's game at North Carolina.
Other than that, it was a day for Maryland to flex its collective muscles. The Terps (6-2, 2-1 ACC) led 31-0 at halftime and 45-0 before Duke scored two meaningless touchdowns near the end. Henderson stuffed tailback Chris Douglass with a booming hit at the line of scrimmage on the game's first play, and his teammates continued to deliver knockout blows.
"We were hitting on all cylinders," said Henderson, whose defensive unit produced a touchdown on Curome Cox's interception return. "We had a punt return which was big for us. We put a lot of points on the board."
Maryland's machine ground Duke (2-7, 0-5) into a dubious piece of ACC history. The Blue Devils (2-7, 0-5) have lost 22 consecutive conference games, eclipsing their previous record from 1995 to 1998.
Meanwhile, the Terps can effectively clinch a second consecutive bowl appearance with one more victory. The Terps will be favored against North Carolina (2-6, 0-4), which lost to Wake Forest 31-0 yesterday.
"We did some things better today than we did last week," coach Ralph Friedgen said of Maryland, which was coming off a 34-10 win over Georgia Tech. "I have been saying this all along. We are a young team, and I told you I thought we would come along. My concern right now is the injuries. We're getting them where we don't have a lot of depth."
Besides Perry, starting offensive tackle Matt Crawford (right knee) and nose tackle C.J. Feldheim (left knee) will have MRIs tomorrow. Freshman Shawne Merriman did a good job filling in at rush linebacker for Jamahl Cochran, who didn't play because of a pulled hamstring. Feldheim was lost on Maryland's first defensive series, and William Shime did a decent job filling in.
Nick Novak's 51-yard field goal, which matched his career longest, started the mauling on Maryland's first possession. After Duke went three-and-out, Suter's returned a punt 63 yards for his third such touchdown this season, a school record.
"Special teams was huge for us," said Maryland tailback Chris Downs, who finished with 60 yards on 16 carries. "Suter had a return. Receivers played a huge part in the win. The offense just came out and did everything right."
Terps quarterback Scott McBrien settled down after the first quarter, finishing 16 of 21 for 264 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Maryland went ahead 17-0 early in the second quarter after a nine-play, 77-yard touchdown drive featuring razzle-dazzle plays with three quarterbacks on successive plays. Chris Kelley came in to run the option, and receiver Latrez Harrison made a surprise appearance at quarterback to do the same while Kelley lined up at receiver. Harrison (three catches, 103 yards) had a 22-yard catch to set up Josh Allen's 11-yard scoring run.
McBrien's lone mishap was when he was intercepted by Kenneth Stanford, who fell down at Duke's 1. Two plays later, Cox intercepted back-up quarterback Chris Dapolito and returned it nine yards down on the right sideline for a touchdown to give Maryland a 24-0 lead with 6:17 left in the half. A 3-yard scoring run by McBrien just before halftime capped an 80-yard drive.
"We're on a roll right now," said McBrien, who threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Harrison on the first series of the second half. "We're really focused on what we have to accomplish. Today was a big step. We got better today as far as execution."
The Terps' final touchdown came on a 16-yard pass from McBrien to Scooter Monroe with 4:50 left in the third quarter. Maryland spent much of the fourth quarter experimenting with its offense as Harrison (three rushes, 31 yards) spent a handful of snaps at quarterback, as the Terps look to add one more weapon to an expanding arsenal.
"We got more playmakers on this team than we did last year," Harrison said. "If we just do our jobs, we'll be an OK team. We will go a long way this year."
Notes
Center Todd Wike (turf toe) and reserve tailback Josh Allen (sprained left wrist) left early but are expected to play this week. The Terps had three interceptions, by Cox, Madieu Williams and Domonique Foxworth. Williams has four for the season, Foxworth three.

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